Europe and War in the Balkans: Toward a New Yugoslav Identity

Europe and War in the Balkans: Toward a New Yugoslav Identity

Europe and War in the Balkans: Toward a New Yugoslav Identity

Europe and War in the Balkans: Toward a New Yugoslav Identity

Excerpt

I am neither Muslim, nor of Croat or Serbian extraction, so I came to write about the events in former Yugoslavia from a detached point of view. It is difficult to remain detached in the light of world public opinion. The whole world seems to be condemning the Serbs for the horrors and atrocities perpetrated in the Yugoslav civil war. In the past if I had any biases, I had my reasons for them -- they were solidly anchored in the history of the region -- but I soon realized that I was not dealing here with notions of right and wrong. I was not even dealing with those whose actions were justified and those whose actions were not. More than a year's work on this project finally convinced me that all parties in this internecine struggle were wrong. The whole senseless and tragic war was wrong, absolutely wrong. Some readers may not agree with me; however, after reading this narrative, most might change their minds.

When one looks closely at the etiology of conflict, and of this disaster in particular, one could well make a case for the Hobbesian view of humanity and for Hobbes's philosophy of life in general, namely, people in a state of nature are inherently flawed; their very lives are nasty, brutish, and short. This point of view certainly makes the events in Yugoslavia comprehensible, where human beings have been exposed to many of the basic -- and this could easily be read base -- human instincts: political demagoguery, abuse of cultural heritage by laypersons and historians, religious and ethnic intolerance, genocidal tendencies, intense interpersonal violence, and the constant meddling of foreign powers. The forces of nemesis have followed in the aftermath.

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